GNOME Files (aka Nautlus) 3.8 won’t have any massive changes as happened in 3.6 and probably the improved and recursive search will be the most noticeable change.
But Files integration with Shell totally revamps the way you are discovering files in your system. This is one of my favorites things in GNOME 3.8 and is up to you if you want to use this new approach.
To find a certain file till now we had to launch Nautilus and use the search entry. Recursive search also doesn’t work in Nautilus 3.6, so in many situations we had either navigate into folders, bookmark locations or even launch a terminal and use something like <find | grep “myFile”>.
In Nautilus 3.8 recursive search is present and in super fast (at least in my system). So we can launch Nautilus and start typing.. Or alternatively we can hit <Super> and start typing without needing to open Nautilus, that will save us around 1 sec, and an extra mouse move.
First of, we need to set up the locations that we want Shell to search from.
My “gnome” folder includes my GNOME JHBuild files and that is 7GB and 150.000 files. So lets say I want to search for Gnome-Settings folder. In Shell overview I am just start typing..
Clicking a file will open you a new (if you have already one open) Nautilus Window in the current location that the file lies. Clicking on Nautilus+ icon, will open Nautilus in Search Mode. That is good, but not good enough. Three results are quite limited.
If we hack the Shell a bit..
Now I get 7 results in one row, with a full size display screen. That is better! Of course you can do more than this, like getting a fixed results number per row. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that people should know how to hack Shell! But it is certain that someone will write an extension that let us decide how many results we want and how these will be displayed.
The other nice thing, is how fast this runs. We can further improve the speed of indexing by changing some variables in Tracker according to our tastes.
In general, you will find many useful options in dconf-editor in many applications in GNOME, options that are not available in Apps User Interfaces. So install it and explore it ;)